Game 172 (NLCS Game 6) Recap: Cubs 5, Dodgers 0
NATIONAL LEAGUE CHAMPIONS
W - Hendricks (1-1), patient Cubs fans.
L - Kershaw (1-1), insufferable talk of curses.
Things to Take from This Game
1. Kyle Hendricks, Cy Young Worthy.
We saw Peak Kyle tonight, with masterful, easy dominance working an 89-90 fastball all over and keeping the changeup darting. He was backed up by our usual, superior defense, save one harmless error from Baez, who more than made up for it on other plays, including the game-ending double-play turn.
2. Leadoff XBH and two-strike RBI.
The Cubs led off the first and second with doubles, and the fourth with a home run. They drove in several runs on two-strike pitches from Kershaw. This was a dominating offensive performance against Kershaw, being able both to jump on him early in the count, and also to work counts. Kershaw struggled to put anyone away.
3. Vintage Cubs.
Tonight, the Cubs were the superior defensive team, with the superior starting pitching, a relentless offense and a valuable home-field advantage. It was a game worthy of the time capsule for representing what we've been about this magical year.
1. Scottie Pippen, WTF.
2. What does the World Series roster look like?
3. Cleveland? Meh.
- A John Vincent unleashes a ridiculously long "Free" in the anthem. Like, get-out-a-beer-from-the-fridge,-open-it,-pour-it,-and-walk-over-to-the-sofa long.
Top of 1st
- First pitch of the game, Toles lines a single past Baez. As an aspiring cord-cutter, I'm without a television or mlb.tv video feed of the game. Listening to Pat and Ron.
- Very next pitch, Seager bounces a roller up the middle, Baez charges, racing in on the ball, forcing Toles out of his way on the basepath and attemtping to tag him as he dives away from Baez. (On further review, I see that he did successfully tag Toles.) Baez correctly does not pursue beyond that effort, instead throwing to first while Toles is called out for being out, either on the tag or for being out of the baseline. A very Baez-esque double play. I rate it 4 Baezes on a 5-Baez scale.
- Turner hits a deep fly ball into right, for an out.
Bottom of 1st
- Kershaw's first pitch is quite high. Fowler then hits a fly ball down the right field line, hitting the chalk and bouncing up. A fan may have contacted the ball, and Reddick gives up on it as if it did. A bit eerily, this maybe-fan-interference is in a similar location on the right field line to... well... you know.... was on the left field line. Either way, it's a double for Fowler on a nice opposite-way swing. (As I gain access to an online live feed of dubious legality.)
- Bryant also goes opposite way on another not-trying-to-do-too-much-with-it stroke at a fastball down and away, droping it in front of Reddick and to his left. Fowler scores easily. 1-0 Cubs
- Rizzo hits one hard into left-center, and Toles, about to make a running catch, has his eye on Bryant and the ball clangs off the heel of his glove. Rizzo, too, was seemingly deliberate in trying to go the other way. It really was a bag clunker off of Toles' glove. Runners on 2 and 3. Dodgers playing the infield back.
- Zobrist flies out to Pederson in center, with Bryant scoring and Rizzo advancing to third. 2-0 Cubs
- Baez with a lengthy AB against Kershaw, fouling off a bunch of pitches. On a 2-2 count, Baez pops out to Adrian Gonzalez, who belatedly takes command in front of the mound to avoid another fielding disaster.
- Contreras also doing a nice job of laying off the fastball up and a curve away, working count to 2-2. Hits a big chopper to Seager, who makes the play.
Top of 2nd
- Adrian Gonzalez met with a good round of boos. Hendricks starts him 0-2. Eventually bounces up the middle, where Russell is shifted to the right-field side of second throw him out from behind second base.
- Reddick hits right at Baez, who goes down to a knee to field it but the ball comes up, hitting him in the chest. An error on Baez
- Pederson's AB features a firework going off from somewhere behind the OF, during a pitch. He wwas pretty distracted by it, trying to call for time as the pitch was on the way. No luck. He eventual K's swinging on a high fastball. Contreras was pretty much standing up for the pitch, well executed on that 89 mph high heat.
- 1-2 on Grandal, and Hendricks picks Reddick off of first, as he stumbles on his way back to the bag. Out by a mile. Interesting to see how much less harmful the Cubs' error was compared to the Dodgers' error.
Bottom of 2nd
- Addison leads off with a one-hopper off the ivy, just left of the outfield doors in left. Looks like a fastball that got too much of the plate
- Almora hits a bouncer to third that Turner makes a nice play on, taking a backhand on a tough hop while playing in.
- Hendricks works a 2-2 count. 3-2. Fouls off the 3-2 fastball over the plate. Finally, a called strike 3 fastball at the knees. Still, we'll take it. Hendricks is Kershaw's only K, first time through the order.
- Fowler lines one through the 6-5 hole. Russell scores, as the ball is cut off and Fowler gets caught between first and second, before being run down to end the inning. 3-0 Cubs. Kershaw with 46 pitches through 2.
Top of 3rd
- Grandal battles to a 3-2 count. Swings and misses on a 90mph fastball for strike 3.
- Utley lines sharply to Zobrist.
- Kershaw gets some "Darryl"-esque "Kershaw" chants before striking out swinging. Quick inning for Kyle.
Bottom of 3rd
- On a 2-2 pitch, Bryant flies out to Reddick toward the RF line.
- After two leadoff doubles in two innings, our pace slackens in the third. We get a one-out double, as Rizzo lines one over Pederson's head off of the CF ivy. He smokedone down and in, sort of took Pederson by surprise on how well hit it was. Pat Hughes is "sure of" having never seen the Cubs with such solid contact early in a game against Kershaw.
- Zobrist smokes one foul down the left field line. Got too much of the plate. Pat Hughes continues to be astonished at how well we're hitting them. My much delayed very grainy pirated online tv feed also indicates this, as best I can tell. Zobrist winds up lining/flying out to Pederson.
- Baez K's swinging.
Top of 4th
- Toles flies out to Almora in deep right to right-center field, just short of the warning track.
- Seager with a sad little bouncer back to Hendricks. Hendricks is cruising. Ron observes that he "has Ted Barrett, the home-plate umpire, ready to call strikes."
- Turner flails wildly at a change up down and in, and then fists one to Rizzo, unassisted. A truly sad at bat. Crowd has been on its feet at the end of each inning.
Bottom of 4th
- Contreras hits a line drive right down the left field line, into maybe the second row of the bleachers by the foul pole. Appears to have been a fastball in. Gets out in a hurry. 4-0 Cubs. John Cusak is enthused.
- Seager with an impressive snag, running in and reaching down to grab a slow Almora bouncer.
- Hendricks grounds to Turner.
Top of 5th
- First-pitch swinging, Gonzalez bounces to Russell, again shifted behind second base and having to range back to the left-field side of the bag.
- 1-1 pitch to Reddick, pops up to Baez in foul territory, who basically stole it away from Rizzo. Rizzo had been waving him off. Rizzo decides to be amused by this. Len, on radio, references the kids' popup-catching game "500," which I haven't thought of in ages. I love Len.
- Changeup K's Pederson. A FAST inning, three consecutive 1-2-3 innings, only one hit allowed so far, and has faced the minimum. Hendricks is dominating this game. 55 pitchs thrown through 5. Fans again finish the inning on their feet. I am told that Joe Buck is discussing football.
Bottom of 5th
- Kershaw K's Fowler looking at a pitch on the corner.
- Bryant lines to Seager
- Rizzo launches one three rows up into the right field bleaches, with a majestic follow-through on the swing. The crowd goes bonkers. Looks like a fastball down that caught too much of the plate. 5-0 Cubs.
- Zobrist K's looking at a pitch on the outer corner. 93 pitches for Kershaw.
Top of 6th
- Kenley Jansen is warming up in the pen.
- Hendricks strikes out Grandal swinging on a four-seamer running away. Crowd is going ape-shit.
- Ethier on-deck to hit for Kershaw. Utley up.
- Utley bounces to Baez, who makes a nice charging play to his right for the out.
- Kershaw out as Ethier pinch-hits. Fans give another big cheer.
- 3-1 on Ethier, called strike for a full count. Fans standing again. One-hopper to Bryant to end the inning.
Bottom of 6th
- Jansen is in. A total elimination-game move. Baez bounces out to Seager.
- Contreras hits a shallow fly out to Toles, running over into left-center.
- Russell swings through a fastball, for a very quick inning by Jansen.
Top of 7th.
- Toles pops out to Russell on the first pitch. This is getting embarassing.
- Seager K's swinging over a changeup.
- Turner pops out in foul territory to Rizzo
In the Seventh Inning Stretch, Scottie Pippen comes out to sing. It is the single worst butchering of the Stretch since the Ditka Era. Maybe ever. After the first two lines, he jumps several verses, realizes he doesn't know the lyrics, shuts up, and lets the fans sing. He comes back in to sing after a verse or two, his voice dropping a couple of octaves as if to pretend that it was someone else singing, before him. I hate to say it, but, if anything happens.... I'm blaming Pippen.
Bottom of 7th
- Jansen K's Almora swinging.
- Hendricks gets a huge hand as he steps up. Flies out to Reddick near the line in shallow right.
- Fowler K's swinging as we see Chapman beginning to warm up. The strategy of bringing in Jansen early is perhaps the only thing Dave Roberts has done all series to really pay off.
Top of 8th
- Hendricks has retired 19 of last 20 (and that was a Baez error) and still has faced the minimum.
- Gonzalez lazily flies out to center.
- Reddick lines a single to center.
- and Hendricks is pulled for Chapman. Some boos as Maddon comes out, then great cheers as he leaves.
- 0-2 count, and Kendrick, in to pinch hit for Pederson, lines one to Baez who almost catches it, but instead has trapped it. Without waiting, Baez fires to second. Reddick isn't running from first, and the play happens so quickly that result is a double play to end the inning. The crowd is going bonkers.
Bottom of 8th
- Tholes moves to Center with Kendrick in Left. Jansen still pitching. Freezes Bryant looking at a fastball on the inside corner for the out.
- Rizzo flies out to Toles in center, who makes a nice catch running in and toward left.
- Ron reports they've closed off all the streets toward Wrigley.
- Zobrist grounds to Turner, who is shifted from third into shallow right field.
Top of 9th
- Kike Hernandez pinch hits for Grandal. 0-2. Chapman throwing 101. Fans on TV look like they are agonzing. Hernandez K's on a high fastball.
- Heyward in Right, Almora over to Left, Zobrist is out of the game.
- Ruiz pinch-hits for Ethier. 3-2 count, check swing, and it's called a no-swing. Chapman has been hitting 102.
- Puig hits for Chapman. First pitch swinging, he hits a big bouncer to Russell who throws to Baez, who makes a good pivot and solid throw, and it's a 6-4-3 gidp. The Cubs Win. We see Theo hugignt he rest of the front office. The fans are behaving themselves and staying off the fields. "We hav ejust seen one of the greatest things in Chicago Cubs History" says Pat.
- Contract negotiations in higher ed. = Drowning in despair.
- CTSteve, bizmarquis, crunch, Just_a_girl, mister_whipple and me start off the game. Carlos_Cherry (formerly Rocky_Cherry) joins. MorningtonCrescent joins. later, big_lowitzki
- We celebrate an early lead. Discuss our levels of anxiety, rapidly dropping with the early run.
- Carlos demands updates. All the time.
- Maniacal laughing at Toles' error.
- Paying attention to Kershaw's pitch count.
- Grandpa Ross air-drumming to "In the Air Tonight."
- The horrific consequences that will ensue of Paul Sullivan tries to call Lackey "Grandpa" next year.
- Schwarber's BP.
- How Baez will make up for his error.
- Dodgers We Dislike.
- Why aren't there 20 people or more in parachat right now?
- Crunch lectures me on over-the-line analogies.
- What we're eating and drinking
- I tease bizmarquis for his failed joke about Joe Buck
- All of us are super wound-up, except biz, who is calm.
- Would we want to see Chapman pitch two innings? No.
- Schwarber as a Gibson-esque World Series hero.
- Making fun of Pedro Baez.
- We approve of the new 1-game wild card format.
- Do we buy that Schwarber really could be on the WS roster? Not entirely, but still fun to dream on.
- Other changes to WS roster?
- Being too young and stupid to know what you're doing.
- After many technical difficulties, Just_a_girl rejoins us.
- This is no time to be at an amusement park. NO TIME FOR AMUSEMENT!
- Real friends don't force you to be at an amusement park for this game.
- Hendricks is good looking.
- Admiring Hendricks' masterful game.
- Ted Ed talks on the Hagia Sophia vs the Cubs Game.
- Bosio's blessing-of-the-field-with-sunflower-seeds ritual.
- We are going nuts in parachat.
- Schwarber update.
- I am happy. It's been a rough week, and year, so thank you, Cubs.
- General disbelief and excitement in parachat.
- A random detour to discuss Citizens United and Super PAC spending. Way to go, lowitzki.
- Brick joins.
- explaining our most recent meme to people who missed it.
- Utter disbelief at the single worst performance of the 7th inning stretch anyone ever witnessed.
- Schwarber updates. Figuring out how to simulate big-league quality stuff for Schwarber to face.
- Counting down the outs
- Do we like swapping Hendricks out for Chapman? (I hate it.)
- 'los rejoins us.
- Sundrome! 5 outs to go in game 6 of the LCS sundrome!
- Praise be to Baez.
- That time we convinced Carlos that Parachat was censoring all curse words was ######## hilarious.
- Things we'd do to get to Chicago for the Series.
- Hurry up and get to the 9th. (No. Keep scoring.)
- Parachat Riotting.